44 Rankeilor Street
Dunedin South, New Zealand, 9012
Phone: 03 456 2345
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“Because the way we treat our animals, IS the way we treat each other”

Our core purpose is based on this principle. Society values the work vets do. It is that value that gives us the privilege and responsibilities we enjoy as a profession. That value is also reflected in the way society cares for other vulnerable members. Which is why we at Humanimals are getting behind Light it Orange week. This newsletter is filled with stories where the treatment given to pets has reflected the good and bad in our society. Please support Light it Orange. Come into the clinic to have a laugh at us all in an our Orange T shirts, pick up a bandana for your pet (donation to Light it Orange required) and visit their website

Dr Alistair Newbould

It’s 10.00 pm and the emergency phone goes. It’s Dunedin police. “Can you do a house call to this address please? A cat has been injured.” The story goes on, that the client’s boy-friend had lost his temper with the kitten and thrown it against a wall. The kitten was concussed, but with treatment and support, made a full recovery. Our client moved out to a safe house as the kitten was not the only victim.


Contents of this newsletter

01  Another sad case

02  Good Samaritans

03  A lighter moment...

01 Another sad case
iStock aggressive dog

not actual dog (i-stock image)

Even after years in the business, there will be cases that completely floor you. One such case happened a few years ago. A dog had been attacked by his owner with a household tool for “soiling” in the house. The dog was presented by the police, the owner’s partner and their very young child at 2am. The dog had had to be forcibly restrained because he had been trained to attack people in uniforms. He was a very large crossbred dog, and it took a number of police staff to subdue him.

He required pain relief and surgery which presented a major safety challenge to the team.  However with  careful and clever handling techniques and good sedation/anaesthesia we were able to perform the surgery and make him comfortable.

The challenges were not over. As his owner was now in police custody, and his partner and child had sought refuge elsewhere, there was nowhere to return the dog. We spoke to numerous animal charities and no-one was able to accommodate such an aggressive dog in their facilities. The result was the dog staying at the clinic until a resolution could be found. After a month with us, with only a couple of staff able to handle the dog for his basic care of feeding and exercising, he had gradually started to develop trust in our people. He was given a toy that he treasured, and he learned to play and have fun with his “most trusted people”… a real joy to behold.

When no home could be found (permanent or temporary) the decision had to be made for his future – he couldn’t stay at the clinic, we didn’t have the facilities for long term care, and there was nowhere else that could cope with him. Heartbreakingly, the decision was made to euthanase him. This was done with as much love as possible as he had become one of our own. Sadly he paid the ultimate price for his owner’s violent behaviour. His owner was prosecuted and served a short jail sentence.

Violent abusers often move from animals to partners and children, and whilst we couldn’t save the dog, we thought of him as a bit of a hero; he most likely saved the partner and young child from a similar fate.

02 Good Samaritans
boy and dog istock mar 2017

  lady who truly was a good Samaritan

On a  positive note, there are some wonderfully kind people out there. A woman passed by a young man sitting in a carpark with a bleeding dog. She enquired what had happened, the response was the dog had been attacked. She made further enquiries of the young man and discovered he was living in his car. She made arrangements for his dog to be treated at Humanimals and paid for the treatment. Whilst he was waiting on his dog, we discovered he had not eaten in some time, we provided food and drink until the dog was ready to go home later than day. This kind lady then took him and his dog to her home and provided accommodation in her family and helped him get back on his feet. A few months later he came back to see us to inform us all was going well and that he now had a place of his own and was attending a course at polytech.


 We have a client with special needs who is a very dedicated dog owner and a regular visitor to Humanimals. Sadly recently her dog was diagnosed with an incurable condition that required long term medication to keep functioning. She was very keen to keep her constant companion with her for as long as possible. We explored all treatment option and costs and came up with several options. The neighbour of this client, who has assisted her financially in the past, stepped forward and offered to pay the monthly costs of the best treatment option – another good Samaritan.


03 A lighter moment...

Wrangling your cat and getting them into a carrier can be a very stressful event - as demonstrated in this hilarious video. This can put you off bringing your cat to us and it means they might miss out on essential health check ups, vaccinations and preventative care.

If you think about it, in your cat's mind, nothing good comes after being shoved into a carrier. While our canine friends get to leave the house for pleasurable walks and trips to the beach, most cats are invariably taken somewhere a lot less exciting!

Remember that all pets should be secured in the car, not just for their safety but also yours.

Here are our top tips for reducing cat carrier stress:

  • First up: ask us about the pheromone spray we have available to help your cat feel more secure and safe while in the carrier.
  • Bring a towel that smells like home to cover the carrier when you arrive here.
  • Try not put the carrier down near a strange dog - that instantly creates stress.
  • At home, store the carrier in a part of your house that smells familiar. Give your cat the chance to rub her scent on the carrier.
  • Try to associate the carrier with good things! Place food in the carrier or special treats (ask us for the best recommendation).

We will happily recommend the best carrier for your cat that is both safe and secure - call us today.

P.S. Don't forget to check out the video!  If you haven't ever seen Simon's Cat before, you are in for a treat - check out his other hilarious video clips too.